I am pleased to offer the eighth of my new GBH Brief Form Posts to my website (Less than three-minutes to read! Not including viewing the short video). I tend to get a bit long-winded with my routine Posts. I don’t want my enthusiasm for thoroughness and detail to discourage readers. So I will continue to publish the brief Posts regularly.
Brief-Form Post on Special Observations at Blevins Gap
February 11, 2023, I co-led some 20 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) hikers on the Certain Trail at the Land Trust of North Alabama’s Blevins Gap Nature Preserve.
We returned along the West Bluff Trail, enjoying the view to the southwest from the transmission line looking over south Huntsville..
I recorded this 2:48 video from the east side of the ridge as we reached our turn around point.
I’ll highlight two of the unusual features I photographed. Prevailing winds rise ~800 feet from the valley floor, racing across the West Bluff Trail. A basic principle of physics, the Venturi effect, increases the rate of airflow around trees, which at their base scours the ground of accumulated leaf litter.
The Venturi effect describes how the velocity of a fluid (in this case, the air) increases as the cross-section of the container it flows in decreases.
Source: online Energy Education.
I remain always on the alert for tree form oddities and curiosities. This 15-inch diameter hickory presented a gaping mouth 90 degrees from the horizontal, like a giant snapping turtle clinging to the trunk, ready to thrust forward to nab a hiker! The oddity results from an old branch wound infected with bacterial, viral, or fungal agents spurring the tree to callous over the scar even as the infection decays from within.
Albert Einstein often pondered such mysteries (oddities and curiosities):
- The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see.
Inhale and absorb Nature’s elixir. May Nature Inspire, Inform, and Reward you!
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